Category Archives Photoshop

down-dirty-logo

I know I kind of mentioned this in passing a few weeks back, but last week we officially announced the launch of my brand new Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks Tour, which is kicking off in Washington, DC on Friday, May 8th at the Washington Convention Center.

If you’re thinking of coming, I would definitely sign up now, because since we announced it last Thursday, this has been the fastest filling seminar in our 16-year history, and I want you to come spend the day with me (especially if you’re a reader of this blog).

This tour is all about Photoshop special effects, and creating the same looks you see in magazines, on TV, in Hollywood and on the Web, so I’m not going to be doing the standard stuff (like teaching color correction, or sharpening, or Camera Raw); instead this totally a day of eye-popping, jaw-dropping, way cool special effects—the kind of stuff that clients just love and I hope you’ll join me for this very special live seminar in DC. It’s $99 for the full day event (only $79 if you’re a NAPP member).  Here’s the link with all the details. Hope I see you there!

pspanel

OK gang, as promised, here’s the cool secret thing: Today I’m releasing a free custom Photoshop CS4 panel that lets you get the RSS feed for this blog, “The Photoshop Insider” right inside Photoshop CS4 in its own separate panel (so it’s just like any other panel [formerly known as palettes], inside Photoshop).

If you click on the graphic above, you’ll see the Photoshop Insider panel is right there alongside the Layers panel, Channels, Paths, etc. and you’ll see the headlines from my posts, along with the RSS feed of the beginning of each post. If you see one that interests you, just click on Read More…..

The ability to add your own custom panels to Photoshop is new in CS4, and it came in the form of a free utility called “The Configurator” which lets you customize and extend Photoshop in some amazing ways. In fact, at Photoshop World in Boston next week, we have a special “Extensibility Track” featuring in-depth classes on how to create panels and extend Photoshop (taught by Adobe’s own John Nack, Tom Ruark, and Jeff Tranberry from the Photoshop team). If you’re into this stuff, make sure you check out their sessions (open to all Photoshop World attendees).

Here’s the link to the download the free panel. Once you download it, just double-click on it, and the CS4 Extension Manger will automatically install it where it’s supposed to go, then all you have to do is Restart Photoshop, then go under the Window menu, under Extensions, and choose PS_Insider.

A big thanks to Jeff Tranberry and our friends on the Photoshop team for their advice and suggestions in helping us develop this panel.

We’ve been getting a lot of frantic calls and emails about our Photoshop for Photographers seminar next week in Houston with Ben Willmore, because a few days ago it sold out.

The good news is; we were able to expand the ballroom in the Convention Center to accomodate more people (so everyone on the cancellation waiting list will be now able to attend), and if you weren’t already signed up—now you can (although there are already less than 40 seats left, so if you’re thinking of going—-I’d sign up now. Here’s the link.

curves2

The other day I’m sitting at my desk between meetings, and I was thinking about something I wanted to do in Photoshop to a photo I had just taken, and something kind of just popped in my head that really surprised me. It was the realization that I hardly use Curves anymore.

Now, I’m not talking about creating contrast using the Tone Curve in Camera Raw, or Lightroom (because I do that all the time)—-I’m talking about actually color correcting your photos using good old-fashioned Curves (as seen above), or a Curves Adjustment Layer in Photoshop (which is essentially the same thing).

This kind of freaked me out, because I used to live in Curves—I was in that dialog 50 times a day for years and years, and I couldn’t imagine doing any kind of color correction in Photoshop without it, and now here I am sitting there wondering when the last time I used Curves to color correct a photo. Of course, I knew why I wasn’t using it—it’s because I now do my color correction in Lightroom or Camera Raw (primarily just by properly setting the white balance), and the only time I really need to bring up Curves within Photoshop itself is if I need to fix the color after I’ve already edited the photo in Lightroom or Camera Raw, and that is pretty rare these days.

I wondered if “it’s just me,” so I walked over to my buddy’s Matt Kloskowski’s office and asked him about his Curves use. He said he couldn’t remember the last time he color corrected a photo using Curves. I think we were both a little stunned. We both still use it when we need it, but clearly its role in both our workflows has significantly diminished.

So, I sent a few emails out to some outside Photoshop’s buddies asking about their Curves use in Photoshop, and I was hearing the same thing from them (one wrote, “…very rarely, but I do use it from time to time”). I don’t think this is a bad thing—I think it’s just an evolution of how we use Photoshop today, and I think it’s a good indicator at how much easier the color correction process has become thanks to Lightroom and Camera Raw, and their ability to process and correct Raw, JPEG, and TIFF images.

Anyway, I’d love to hear about your use of Curves, and whether you’re still using Curves as much as you used to, or if you have modified your workflow to reflect the tools we now have at our disposal. I invite you to take the survey below and share where Curves fits into your current workflow.

DISCLAIMER: I just want to make it clear that I’m not saying anything bad about Curves. I love Curves—always have, probably always will—-it’s a beloved part of Photoshop that absolutely still has it’s place and I would hate to think of Photoshop without it. And please don’t go and write, “Scott says not to use Curves anymore.” I’m not saying that at all—I’m just making an observation of how my use of Curves has changed, and I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on your level of Curves usage.

NOTE: Please only take the survey below if you do, or at one time did, use Curves regularly for color correction in your Photoshop workflow.

I can’t believe it’s already Friday (this week has flown by!). Before we get onto the news, a big thanks to Syl Arena for his excellent guest post this week. He didn’t have an easy job being the next person to guest blog after Zack Arias’ mini-epic movie post (which is now the #1 most commented post on this blog ever, with 458 comments), but Syl did a kick-butt job with his post, and a lot of you told him so in your comments. Thanks Syl—you done us proud, son! ;-)

Now, onto the news:

  • Adobe Releases CS4 Update
    A couple of days ago, Adobe released an update to Photoshop CS4 with bug fixes that address a number of issues, including “A number of issues that could cause slow performance have been addressed. Pen barrel rotation with Wacom tablets now works correctly. Photoshop now correctly recognizes 3D textures edited by a plug-in. The quality of the results of Auto-Blend Layers (Stack Images) has been improved. A problem that could result in a crash when pasting formatted text has been fixed. A crash that could result from a corrupt font no longer occurs.” You can download the free update right here for Mac, or right here for Windows.
  • Concert Photography Must-Read Article
    Photographer and musician Scott Diussa did an absolutely excellent, in-depth article on concert photography on his blog this week, and if you shoot concerts, or ever wanted to learn how, this is a must-read article (plus, there are some great concert shots there as well). Here’s the link.
  • Photoshop World Survival Guide Posted
    If you’re going to Photoshop World in Boston next month (it’s not too late—and we’ve extended the $100 off Early Bird discount until today), make sure you check out Nancy’s “Photoshop World Survival Guide” over at the Photoshop World Blog (here’s the link).
  • New Movie to Open with Photography Playing Key Role
    One of my readers (Edwardson Laohoo) turned me onto a movie trailer for a new movie (coming out March 9th) called Everlasting Moments. Edward told me, “It’s based on a true story.  It’s a story of a woman who was in an abusive marriage but found solace in her newfound freedom in the world of Photography.” Here’s the link to see the trailer.
  • Your Feedback on Launch of our New Weekly Show for Nikon DSLR users Yesterday.
    Thanks so much to everyone who supported the launch of our new weekly show for Nikon DSLR users yesterday. The feedback we’ve gotten has been tremendous, and we’ve already taken a lot of your ideas and worked them into the next few shows (including one thing that will make a lot of people happy right off the bat—check out next week’s show which goes live on Thursday). Here’s the link.
  • Photography Blog List Top 20 Favorite Photographers
    My humble thanks to Ronald R. Martinsens’s Photography Blog for the honor of being included in his list of his “Top 20 Favorite Photographers.” That totally made my day! Here’s the link to his list, which includes a link to the portfolios of all his picks.
  • Very Clever Photography Gallery
    Lastly, check out the online portfolio site of photographer Lee Crum. Besides his wonderful photography, he has put together a very clever way of displaying his work as framed art which appears one-by-one arranged on a wall. You just kinda have to see it for yourself—here’s the link.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend everybody!

disabletrk

Today I am the happiest camper in the forest, because Adobe has made me love my Apple MacBook Pro laptop again. They released a free downloadable plug-in for Photoshop CS4 which disables the trackpad gestures on Apple’s new MacBook Pro Laptops. No longer does my canvas rotate 40 or 50 times a day when I least expect it, and my document doesn’t zoom out to a 1% view 30 or so times a day.

No longer do I spontaneously string together groups of colorful adjectives, spoken at a high volume, as my blood pressure attains new heights. No today, there is nothing but love for Adobe, and now for my MacBook Pro as well. It’s a good day.

If you have been experiencing similar trackpad issues (which caused you to temporarily take on the vocabulary of Joe Pechi in the movie Casino), here’s the link to download the plug-in. Thank you Adobe. You had me at “disable.”

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